Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Year Between (2022) Tribeca 2022

Writer director and star Alex Heller  misses the mark with a story that could have made an excellent serious drama but ends up being undercut by a too silly a tone and performance that is way too deadpan and mechanical.

This is the story of a young woman who breaks apart while away at college and is brought home by her parents. She is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and tries to put her life back together. 

There is a good story here, but the film never really makes it work. Blame it on the insistence on making the story humorous. Its not even so much that the humor shouldn't be there, rather it's that Heller's knowing brand of forced humor shouldn't be there. The humor doesn't arise out of the situation but always feels constructed.  

Worse Heller is not a very good actress and her range  never gets to A never mind past it. She doesn't act or emote she simply walks through scenes as if she is a completely disinterested party. She is incapable of selling anything and the rest of the cast would have been better served by a cardboard cut out since it wouldn't try to steal the spot light. It also doesn't help that she is also possibly about 10 year too old to play the lead. 

Having friends who experienced similar things, and one friend who had a college break down that would make a great horror film, I was kind of offended. Its not the humor in the film, its more the lack of honesty in that it feels like Heller is leaning into this story to get noticed rather than she has a passion for it. It feels disingenuous, as if she is doing it all for effect.

I was disappointed. 

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